About mrsscales207

My life has taken many paths. I grew up in Farmland, Indiana and graduated from Monroe Central High School in 1979. Yes I know that seems like a long time ago to most of you. After I graduated from High School, I went into the U. S. Navy. Not a lot of women enlisted in the Navy back then. Boot camp was still segregated (that means there were only women in my boot camp) and yes, boot camp is as bad as they say it is. I survived though and began seeing a little more of the world than just our lovely corn and soy bean fields of Indiana. I was an advanced avionics technician and worked on F14 Tomcat jets in the Navy. Back then women couldn't go on ships but I was stationed in Bermuda for a little over a year. Bermuda is beautiful and the people are warm and friendly. I married my husband while in the Navy and we eventually moved to Minnesota.

Writing about The Metamorphosis

Last week you studied how to properly use quotation marks, and we reviewed all of the A-List Academic Vocabulary. We also did a very in-depth review of The Metamorphosis and the characters. This week, you get the opportunity to put all that together with the writing skills we have worked on this year.

Today you will begin writing the first of several essay’s concerning the texts we have read in our unit study of Magical Realism. The essay prompt is:

What role does each character play in Gregor’s metamorphosis and how does it affect the family?

You will need to select specific words, quotations, and scenes throughout the text that reveal the conflicting motivations of the characters. In your essay, you will explain how these scenes support inferences drawn about the familial relationships and reactions to the metamorphosis. How do these develop a theme of The Metamorphosis?

Today you will select those specific words, quotations, and scenes throughout the text that reveal the conflicting motivations of the characters. This should take you about 15 minutes.

The second step will take a little longer, you will have 25 minutes to take the prompt question and turn it into the thesis statement you plan to use in writing your essay.

Everyone must have a thesis statement fully written and approved prior to the end of class today.

Tomorrow you will write a full, timed essay in response to today’s prompt. It is not cheating to plan what you will be writing in class tomorrow.

Remember the following important parts of any essay:


  • Hook
  • Title and Author
  • Thesis Statement

Body Paragraphs

  • A topic sentence for each paragraph that supports your theses
  • Support for topic sentence that is properly cited
  • Transitions to and from next paragraph


  • Restatement or Wrap Up of the thesis
  • So What statement

MLA Requirements

  • Proper 4 line heading
  • Proper in-text citations
  • Works Cited page

Essays may be hand written on paper or typed as a Google doc and printed off by the end of class as we will be doing a class activity with the printed copies of the essay’s the following day.


Finishing The Metamorphosis and the Grading Period

Today was the last full class workday for completing The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

Students were reminded to have their Week 6 – Quotation Marks WSQ turned in by tomorrow. Students were also reminded that no late work will be accepted for this grading period after tomorrow. 

Students were informed that next week (which is the last week of the grading period) will be a Week of Writing about The Metamorphosis. Each day’s task will be used in the next day’s lesson, so it is important to be here every day and complete each day’s task.

New Reading Groups

While today was the second of three work days for Section III of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, we also made the final selections of the books each group will be reading in their new groups.  The program will be a combination of Literary Circles and Independent Reading, both of which we have done in the past.

Each group will read the same book instead of each individual reading a different book. The group will read at their own pace as long as they are using their in class reading time appropriately. Appropriately for this group reading will be either reading or discussing the book. Once a book is finished the group will schedule with Mrs. Scales to do a group book talk for the class and a recommendation poster will be made. After a group has completed their book talk and poster, they will select another book and repeat the process. Dependent upon the length and complexity of the selected books, regular English class groups will be expected to complete 1 – 3 book talks by the end of the school year. Dependent upon the length and complexity of the selected books, Honors English class groups will be expected to complete 2 – 4 book talks by the end of the school year. Extra credit may be earned for book talks exceeding the expected number of book talks, with advance approval from Mrs. Scales. Each member of the group earns the same number of book talk points.

Book Talk Packets have been loaded into the Resources area of Canvas with all instructions.

A-List Word Review

Today, students were given a A-List Vocabulary crossword puzzle. The crossword puzzle is due on Friday. This is a review of the specific 14 A-List words that we have studied so far this year. Now we will put the words to work for us. Starting next week we will have a bell ringer activity each day focusing on the understanding and use of these 14 words. Remember that each of these words tell you what directions or writing prompts are asking you to do and a solid understanding of the differences in the meaning of each word is a fundamental skill that every student must master.

Our Independent Grammar lesson this week is labeled Week 6 – Quotation Marks in the resources section of Canvas. WSQ for Week 6 – Quotation Marks is due on Friday, and late submissions will not be accepted for any credit.

Any late work from this quarter must be turned in by this Friday to receive any credit for the work.

Over the next three days students will be reading the third and final section of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. The final questions were passed out today and students were reminded that questions must be answered with textual support in their Reading Log.


Reading Progress

Congratulation to the following students for having the greatest increase in their reading scores so far this school year:

On average, students are expected to grow approximately 75 – 100 Lexile points per school year.  Several of our students have increased by well over 200 Lexile points since last fall.  We will be focusing on helping all students continue to make increases in their reading levels, with Reading Workshops focused on both reading levels and growth made that will begin next week.

Folders will be collected tomorrow for grading. Questions through Part II #9 will be graded. 

SRI & The Metamorphosis

Today, you will take the SRI. We haven’t done the SRI since December and we have certainly been reading a variety of text so far this semester. Now it’s time to see how much that reading is paying off for you individually. Please log into SRI and do your very best on the test. This reading inventory is not a graded test and you are only competing against your previous reading level. So don’t get nervous, just read carefully and do the best you can. As usual, there will be extra credit for those raising their reading level from the previous scores.  Good Luck

After the test you should start or continue reading The Metamorphosis Section II (paragraphs 46 – 58) and answering Post Reading Questions 5 – 9 in your Reading Log. We will be reviewing the questions on Friday and your folders will be turned in for grading. Make sure you take this time to catch up any missing work in your Reading Log so you don’t lose any of the folder points.

Grete & Mr. Samsa

  • The word dutiful best describes Grete. She spends time figuring out what Gregor needs and adjusts accordingly. She also plans his meals and the cleaning of his room when “his parents and the maid were still asleep” out of consideration for them. Grete is a dynamic character.
  • The word enterprising best describes Mr. Samsa as he immediately worries about financial matters after Gregor’s transformation. He has not bothered himself with this burden ever since Gregor took it on, but on the first night of his son’s metamorphosis, he finds “some money available from the old days,” and tells the family that they should all look for jobs.


Writing a Character Analysis


Today you will review The Metamorphosis up through paragraph 45, annotating the text and taking specific notes about the two characters Grete and Mr. Samsa (Gregor’s father). Using specific support from the text write a one to two paragraph analysis of each character. Your assignment needs to be submitted through TurnitIn by the start of your class period tomorrow.

The following information will help focus your pre-writing for this assignment. Remember to use all five steps of the writing process, pre-writing , drafting, revising, editing, prior to publishing your assignment to Turnitin.

A strong character analysis will:

  1. identify the type of character it is dealing with. (A single character could be two or three types. See “There are different types of characters” below.)
  2. describe the character (what is the character like? This can be physical characteristics or how they think or feel)
  3. discuss the conflict in the story, particularly in regards to the character’s place in it. (What is the character struggling with? And what does that tell you about the character?)

Your analysis must include all three of these parts to receive full credit.

There are different kinds of characters.

Characters can be

  • protagonists (heroes),The main character around whom most of the work revolves.
  • antagonists,The person who the protagonist is against. This is often the villain, but could be a force of nature, set of circumstances, an animal, etc.
  • major, These are the main characters. They dominate the story. Often there are only one or two major characters.
  • minor, These are the characters who help tell the major character’s tale by letting major characters interact and reveal their personalities, situations, stories. They are usually static (unchanging).
  • dynamic (changing), See below under “Look at specific things.”
  • static(unchanging),
  • stereotypical(stock), This is the absent minded professor, the jolly fat person, the clueless blonde.
  • foils, These are the people whose job is to contrast with the major character.  This can happen in two ways.  One: The foil can be the opposite of the major character, so the major’s virtues and strengths are that much “brighter” in reflection.  Two: The foil can be someone like the major character, with lite versions of the major’s virtues and strengths so that the major comes off as even stronger.
  • round (3 dimensional), This means the character has more than one facet to their personality. They are not just a hardcore gamer, but they also play basketball on the weekends.
  • flat (1 dimensional), This is the character who is only viewed through one side. This is the hardcore gamer. That’s all there is to the character.

To describe the character:

Consider the character’s name and appearance.

  • Is the author taking advantage of stereotypes? The hot-tempered redhead, the boring brunette, the playboy fraternity guy.
  • Is the author going against stereotypes? The brilliant blonde, the socially adept professor, the rich but lazy immigrant.
  • Is the author repeating a description of the character? If so, then it is important. For example, Kathy in East of Eden is described as rodent-like and snake-like, “sharp little teeth” and a “flickering tongue.”
  • Is their name significant? Is it a word that means something, like Honor or Hero? Does it come from a particular place or time and make reference to that? Scarlett, Beowulf.
  • Appearance and visual attributes are usually far less important than other factors, unless their appearance is the point– such as in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Clothing also rarely matters, except to make him/her easier to visualize.

Consider if he/she a static (unchanging) or dynamic (changing) character. If the character has changed during the course of the story:

  • Was the change gradual or rapid?
  • Was it subtle or obvious?
  • Are the changes significant to the story or are they a minor counterpoint?
  • Are the changes believable or fantastic?
  • What was his/her motivation to change?
  • What situations or characters encouraged the change?
  • How does the character learn from or deal with the change?

Consider how the author discloses the character:

  • By what the character says or thinks.
  • By what the character does.
  • By what other characters say about him/her.
  • By what the author says about him/her.
  • The short form for this is STAR (says, thinks, acts, reacts).

Look for these things within the creation of the character:

psychological/personality traits

  • Do these characteristics aid in the character being consistent (in character), believable, adequately motivated, and interesting?
  • Do the characteristics of the character emphasize and focus on the character’s role in the story’s plot?


  • Is the character ethical? Is he/she trying to do the right thing, but going about it in the wrong way?
  •  Is the motivation because of emotion (love, hate) or a decision (revenge, promotion)?

behavior /actions

  • Does the character act in a certain way consistently?
  • Or is the character erratic?
  • Could one pluck the character from the story, put them in another story, and know how they would react?


  • With other characters in the story
  • How others see/react to him/her


  • Typical tragic weakness is pride.  Oedipus is proud.
  • Weakness could be anything.  In “Little Red Riding Hood,” the girl talks to a stranger.  That’s a weakness.


  • There are many different strengths and virtues.
  • One strength/virtue is being good in trying times, like Cinderella.
  • Another strength/virtue is caring for family, like Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Another strength/virtue is being smart, like Oedipus.
  • Most protagonists have more than one strength/virtue.

moral constitution

  • Often a character will agonize over right and wrong.
  • If a character doesn’t agonize and chooses one or the other easily, that is also significant.


  • Does the story revolve around this character’s actions?
  • If so, is the character the hero (protagonist) or villain (antagonist)?

complex/simple personality

  • Personalities are more likely to be simple in children’s stories, fairy tales, and short stories.
  • Personalities are more likely to be complex in longer works.
  • Even in short works, such as “The Story of an Hour,” the character’s personality can be complex.  Then it depends on what the author was focusing on.

history and background

  • Sometimes a character analysis looks at the history of the individual character.  Was that person mistreated? abused? well-loved? liked?
  • Sometimes the history of the work matters more.  Is the story set in World War II?  In ancient Greece?  That makes a difference because culture changes stories.  If you don’t know the culture, though, you may not be able to comment on this.

similarities and differences between the characters

  • This could be the foil aspect again.
  • It could be looking at how characters complement each other.
  • It could be looking at why characters would be antagonistic.

character’s function in story

  • Is the character an integral character?  (Cinderella)
  • Is the character a minor character? (The wicked stepmother in “Cinderella”)
  • Is the character someone who could have been left out or is gratuitous? (The second wicked stepsister in “Cinderella.”)


Remember that you will have a test over the first 45 paragraphs of  The Metamorphosis on Friday, and that you will be allowed to use the notes you have taken in your Reading Log while taking the test. Make sure you are including detailed notes about all three characters, Gregor, Grete, and Mr.Samsa.

Also, don’t forget to be working on the grammar lesson on parallel structure. 


Post Reading Questions 1 – 4

Today we read paragraphs paragraphs 31 – 45 of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka in class. Again, students were instructed to annotate the text as they read to identify all unknown words and important or significant details in the text.  We reviewed the first four questions from the Section II Post-Reading Questions. We talked about the analysis of character traits for both Grete and Mr. Samsa.

1.What differences does Gregor notice about his body and appetites? What is significant about these differences?

Gregor begins to  “learn the value” of his antennae which he uses to feel his way around in the dark. He also does not enjoy his favorite meal and feels uneasy in his tall room. He would rather eat garbage and crawl under the couch. Gregor also notices that his body has healed faster than he anticipated.

2. What conclusion does Gregor come to after his first night under the couch?

Gregor concludes that he needs to remain calm and patient. His main worry is for that of his family and how he can make his transformation bearable for them.

3. Describe Gregor’s sister, Grete. What conflicting emotions does she seem to have?

Grete is the only family member who takes care of Gregor. She brings him sweet milk and bread, buts he removes his bowl“ using a rag, not her bare hands. ”She brings him other things to eat, but does not stay in the same room with him. This indicates that she cares for her brother still but is some what repulsed by him.

4. What does Gregor’s father reveal about the family’s financial status? What is significant about the truth?How does Gregor react?

Mr. Samsa reveals that there was some money left from his old, failed business that has been collecting interest. He also reveals that they have not used all of the money that Gregor has been providing each month. Gregor notices that this extra money could have been used to“ reduce his father’s debt to his boss” and get him out of his hated job sooner, but he is grateful that the savings are there instead of angry. Gregor is ashamed that his family members may have to get jobs to support themselves when he has been the sole provider.

Tomorrow we will be writing character analysis for both Grete and Mr. Samsa. Prepare for that by picking which word best applies to what you have learned from today’s reading about each character.